Parathyroid Glands Surgery & Hyperparathyroidism Surgery
The best treatment for this disease is surgery to remove the parathyroid gland(s) that are enlarged and responsible for the elevations in calcium in the blood. Up until very recently, there was no reliable test available to actually localize the enlarged parathyroid gland.
Several years ago a new test, called technetium-sestamibi scanning became available. A relatively simple test, the sestamibi is attracted to the enlarged parathyroid gland. It is an extremely accurate and sensitive test. Because of our strong interest in treating this disease, we pioneered this surgery in the Northeastern United States and became the first group in the Greater Philadelphia region to utilize this technique and perfect its use for our patient population. We soon coupled this test with our extensive interest and experience in minimally invasive radio guided parathyroid surgery (MIRP). The standard surgery requires many hours of searching for the enlarged abnormal parathyroid gland.
Minimal Radio guided parathyroid surgery is exactly what it sounds like. On the day of the planned operation, the patient is admitted several hours prior to the expected time of the surgery. Our specially trained nuclear medicine technologist and radiologist then performs a painless noninvasive technetium-sestamibi scan which, approximately 90% of the time, identifies the exact location in the neck of the enlarged parathyroid gland. The radiologist then marks the location on the skin with a skin marker, and the patient proceeds to surgery.
For an extensive technical explanation of the process http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/reprint/80/1/7.pdf
Once the patient is asleep, a hand-held probe is used by the surgeon to go to the area of increased activity, most often allowing identification and removal of the enlarged parathyroid gland in 15 minutes through a smaller incision than would be required without this new scan and tool.
This technique has changed what used to be a very long operation into a generally less invasive, much shorter and easier procedure for the patient. Hospital stays are typically less than 24 hours and patients are most often discharged without any medication other than a mild analgesic like Tylenol (acetaminophen). Parathyroid Glands Surgery is performed in South Jersey near Philadelphia, without the need to travel to Minnesota or Florida to have this surgical procedure.